Points East & West

Fostering social capital is a national-security issue

‘For now, the order of the day in Europe is “social distancing” to limit the spread of Covid-19. That threatens to accentuate fragmentation, not heal it’

“Global Britain” must think the unthinkable

Our societies are now the battlefield; people, not kit, should drive national security thinking

Learning is a dangerous business

Poor education stunts home-grown talent and undermines national security

Counter-intelligence needs a rethink. Catching spies is not enough

‘Western counter-intelligence has been largely defensive. Given the existential threats we increasingly face, we now need to go on the offensive’

A view from the ramparts

The West spends too much money on weapons and too little time on promoting its real strength: ideas

The war for memory

‘Anniversaries all too quickly become a substitute for clear thoughts about the present. As the victors of the war, for example, we have written our part in its history in rose-tinted ink’

The two Vladimirs

‘Even the most patriotic Russian can see that their rulers have been lying to them about Ukraine. They may also wonder why Ukrainians can choose their rulers freely and Russians cannot’

The other China

‘Unlike its bigger counterpart the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan is a beacon of democracy, freedom and the rule of law’

The claws of the panda

‘Russia successfully meddles in Western politics, but I now worry more about China’

Capricious As Ever

"Far from being the harbinger of a more transparent and law-abiding Iran, the Zanjani trial is just an attempt to settle scores"

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"